A few weeks back I had the opportunity to speak to a group of teenagers about mental health and to share my own story about experiencing depression and anxiety. After speaking for a few minutes, I opened the floor to questions. I expected an awkward silence and maybe some prompted questions from the leaders but… Continue reading Good questions about depression, anxiety and mental health
I’ve written before about my own brush with anxiety and depression. You can read my story here, here and in the book, The Pastor with a thorn in his side (ed. Steve Kneale). I wanted to say a bit more about how churches can look after the mental health of their pastors and other leaders… Continue reading Look after your leaders’ mental health
I’ve seen a few articles talking about burnout among those in church leadership over the past few weeks. These seem to be particularly in response to the experience of leaders through the COVID-19 pandemic which has in many ways amplified many of the challenges of Gospel ministry. One helpful contribution to the discussion was this… Continue reading Is it burnout?
From time to time I write specifically about the impact of mental health issues on pastors and church leaders. I’ve recently returned to the subject again writing about depression here and here. I wanted to follow up these articles by writing a little about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is described on the MIND… Continue reading Pastors and PTSD
A few years back I was asked to cover a couple of sessions for a ministry training course. One of the sessions was on “failure.” The request came with a couple of those expected awkward jokes along the lines of “we aren’t picking you for any specific reason.” Indeed, at the time, arguably I’d not… Continue reading Why do we struggle to talk about pastors and depression?
Last year I contributed to a short book called “The Pastor with a thorn in his side.” It’s a book which tells the stories of 7 pastors who have faced depression during their ministry. Steve Kneale edited the book and as well as telling his own story provides an introduction and a conclusion. In those… Continue reading Towards a theology of depression
That’s perhaps not the headline you wanted to read is it? However, this is the challenging reality. At some point your pastor/vicar/elders have thought “I could just walk out the building after the service finishes, in fact, I could do it right now. I could shut the Bible, walk out and never come back here.”… Continue reading Your pastor has considered giving up
In my recent survey about application and what pastors talked about, I asked respondents to indicate whether or not they’d heard pastors address particular issues within the last 5 years. One issue concerned mental health. This is such an important subject to address within our churches because as we preach and pastor we are so… Continue reading When did you last hear a pastor talk about mental health issues?
In his review of The pastor with a thorn in his side, Mark Pickett calls for further theological, ecclesiological and sociological reflection on the causes and consequences of depression among those in Christian service. I agree and believe that such reflection will be helpful not just for church leaders suffering with depression but as we… Continue reading Thinking about the effect of environment on mental health and depression
Mark Pickett has written this helpful review of “The pastor with a thorn in his side.” In his review, Mark picks up on a number of things that he would have liked further analysis and discussion of in the book. I agree with Mark that these are crucial areas that we need some further discussion… Continue reading Depression, spiritual warfare and calling the elders to pray